CVF and Carrier Strike thread

I struggle to understand whey the RAF need the F35 at all yes the Tornadoes are running on borrowed time but are the Typhoons almost ready to be duel roll.

Do we need the stealth that the F35 provides after all we have never had it before.
In my tiny mind I would prefer to see the Navy have the F35 buy completely with enough planes to go max load on the carriers with an OcU plus combat replacements.
More to do with the RAF being unhappy that the FAA get all of the toys to play with.

Never underestimate how much inter service rivalry can mess things up.
 
Maybe we should really think outside of the box and embrace moving Australia. Mobile Australia has a range of advantages - ample space for really anything we might want to base there, literally anything, extensive home nation support, millions of kangaroos - and the close working relationship it would require with the Australians obviously supports Global Britain. I say, move Australia now.
 
More to do with the RAF being unhappy that the FAA get all of the toys to play with.

Never underestimate how much inter service rivalry can mess things up.
You may wish to research how the F-35s are being manned and operated a little more.

Air is the lead service for F-35 and the RAF provide roughly 60% of the manpower on the Joint sqns. They’re being procured for both Land based and carrier based ops. Indeed, I think both services agree that cooperation between the services has been very good despite differing priorities.

Regards,
MM
 
The legend about Australia is inconsistent. The place is supposed - depending upon who you listen to - to have been shifted 1000, 500 or 200 miles (and I think I've seen 450 mentioned somewhere as well).

The truth is that is was moved 1000 plus miles in one document - but that was by the Chief Scientific Adviser, who issued a report which placed Australia in the Atlantic. I have a photo of the file somewhere and will post it if I ever find the damned thing again.

Aldabra was moved a few hundred miles in one document/presentation, but - critically - there is a raft of other Air Ministry evidence from the period which shows the island in the correct location, often with the distances between the island and various key locations marked on - these can be checked using flight checker type sites (I forget the one I used - it was years ago) and this demonstrates that the distances were correct on these documents.

Furthermore, the files are replete with maps and charts from all departments, all of which seem to show the same thing, along with files from Solly Zuckerman's empire which was attempting an impartial assessment of the two competing arguments (carrier or island strategy), and depending upon the variables used, not quite making its mind up.

Gjert Dyndal appears not to have located any evidence for a deliberate and concerted effort to move any islands at all; I've not found any (my research hasn't been in anything like as much depth, but was done out of curiosity); Sir Michael Quinlan steadfastly denied any; at least one naval historian of my acquaintance doesn't believe the story (he has done some research into it) and a former Wings of HMS Victorious (the carrier, obviously....) didn't believe it either when we corresponded/spoke about the issue of RN carriers over a decade ago.

The naval story does appear to be just that - the simple fact, as has been around for years, is that the RN made an abysmal case for retaining a large carrier capability, and the island strategy - which the RAF knew to be imperfect but arguably 'good enough for government work' - offered a rather attractive means of not having a large carrier force.

On top of that, the RN failed to persuade the Foreign Office that carriers were vital to diplomacy (as Saki Dockerill covered in her book on 1960s foreign policy and East of Suez), I paraphrase, but the FO's advice on the matter was to the effect that 'the aircraft carrier is little more than a post-imperial penis extension'. While that was taking it far too far, in the context of 1966, with no money about and the design being changed on a regular basis, the conclusion that all a carrier was going to be absolutely essential for was pretty much the wildly implausible task of evicting the Argentines from the Falklands (and what lunatic could believe that would ever happen??), and disaster for the RN ensued.

There was the further complication that Mountbatten was seen as a parochial CDS who was really attempting to still be 1SL - so that the government came not to trust his advice; he had, of course, gone by 1966 (but was still attempting influence behind the scenes) and Admiral Luce never quite managed to overcome some of the bitterness which Mountbatten had left behind; the Templer Report in 1965 - concluding that the air arrangements were 'about right' and likely to remain about right for many years to come, to the grave disappointment of a number of people - noted that one of the biggest issues wasn't the existence of the RAF but the enmity and mistrust which had grown up between the RN and the RAF. I think it was Colin Gray who argued that the RAF may have fought hard, but it did so because the inflexible approach of the other services meant that the air force felt under threat. Trenchard's complaint that things would have been so much better had the RN and Army not attempted to destroy the RAF in the early 1920s (actually Sir Henry Wilson rather than the Army as a whole, I think) resonated strongly...

Finally, the notion that the RAF cheated to save the TSR2 and then the F-111 was also rather disproved by Saki Dockerill - the evidence suggests that it was pretty much always the case that the question was not 'TSR2/F-111 or the Carriers?' but 'TSR2/F-111 and the carriers or just TSR2/F-111?'

The legend of the mobile airfield that was Australia isn't really credible - and I regret to say that the evidence to date is that blaming 'dastardly crabs' for the loss of CVA01 was a mechanism to avoid accepting the RN's failings in terms of presenting convincing and effective staff work (Healey did try to warn of this on numerous occasions). This might not have been that important, but if you look at the way in which Lin Middleton handled the air effort during CORPORATE, regarding everything the RAF did as nothing more than a publicity stunt (usually a 'stunt' which had been thought up or enthusiastically accepted by those noted senior fans of the RAF Admirals Lewin, Leach and Fieldhouse...), this came from that belief that the RAF did nothing but play dirty while the RN played it entirely clean (as though Mountbatten was written out of the thinking about this) and then we got Sharkey and his attempts to completely re-write history (ongoing) and the Phoenix Think Tank and you see why this myth is actually pernicious and dangerous and why any retired officers and tyro academics arguing that this 'proves' the need to get shot of the RAF to punish the crabs need to be told to shut up - as, indeed, Admiral Z did at the time of the last SDSR.

Sorry - that's rather long, but blame MM for encouraging me...
 
Thanks @Archimedes...I/we rest the crustacean case! :)

Regards,
MM
 
The legend about Australia is inconsistent. The place is supposed - depending upon who you listen to - to have been shifted 1000, 500 or 200 miles (and I think I've seen 450 mentioned somewhere as well).

The truth is that is was moved 1000 plus miles in one document - but that was by the Chief Scientific Adviser, who issued a report which placed Australia in the Atlantic. I have a photo of the file somewhere and will post it if I ever find the damned thing again.

Aldabra was moved a few hundred miles in one document/presentation, but - critically - there is a raft of other Air Ministry evidence from the period which shows the island in the correct location, often with the distances between the island and various key locations marked on - these can be checked using flight checker type sites (I forget the one I used - it was years ago) and this demonstrates that the distances were correct on these documents.

Furthermore, the files are replete with maps and charts from all departments, all of which seem to show the same thing, along with files from Solly Zuckerman's empire which was attempting an impartial assessment of the two competing arguments (carrier or island strategy), and depending upon the variables used, not quite making its mind up.

Gjert Dyndal appears not to have located any evidence for a deliberate and concerted effort to move any islands at all; I've not found any (my research hasn't been in anything like as much depth, but was done out of curiosity); Sir Michael Quinlan steadfastly denied any; at least one naval historian of my acquaintance doesn't believe the story (he has done some research into it) and a former Wings of HMS Victorious (the carrier, obviously....) didn't believe it either when we corresponded/spoke about the issue of RN carriers over a decade ago.

The naval story does appear to be just that - the simple fact, as has been around for years, is that the RN made an abysmal case for retaining a large carrier capability, and the island strategy - which the RAF knew to be imperfect but arguably 'good enough for government work' - offered a rather attractive means of not having a large carrier force.

On top of that, the RN failed to persuade the Foreign Office that carriers were vital to diplomacy (as Saki Dockerill covered in her book on 1960s foreign policy and East of Suez), I paraphrase, but the FO's advice on the matter was to the effect that 'the aircraft carrier is little more than a post-imperial penis extension'. While that was taking it far too far, in the context of 1966, with no money about and the design being changed on a regular basis, the conclusion that all a carrier was going to be absolutely essential for was pretty much the wildly implausible task of evicting the Argentines from the Falklands (and what lunatic could believe that would ever happen??), and disaster for the RN ensued.

There was the further complication that Mountbatten was seen as a parochial CDS who was really attempting to still be 1SL - so that the government came not to trust his advice; he had, of course, gone by 1966 (but was still attempting influence behind the scenes) and Admiral Luce never quite managed to overcome some of the bitterness which Mountbatten had left behind; the Templer Report in 1965 - concluding that the air arrangements were 'about right' and likely to remain about right for many years to come, to the grave disappointment of a number of people - noted that one of the biggest issues wasn't the existence of the RAF but the enmity and mistrust which had grown up between the RN and the RAF. I think it was Colin Gray who argued that the RAF may have fought hard, but it did so because the inflexible approach of the other services meant that the air force felt under threat. Trenchard's complaint that things would have been so much better had the RN and Army not attempted to destroy the RAF in the early 1920s (actually Sir Henry Wilson rather than the Army as a whole, I think) resonated strongly...

Finally, the notion that the RAF cheated to save the TSR2 and then the F-111 was also rather disproved by Saki Dockerill - the evidence suggests that it was pretty much always the case that the question was not 'TSR2/F-111 or the Carriers?' but 'TSR2/F-111 and the carriers or just TSR2/F-111?'

The legend of the mobile airfield that was Australia isn't really credible - and I regret to say that the evidence to date is that blaming 'dastardly crabs' for the loss of CVA01 was a mechanism to avoid accepting the RN's failings in terms of presenting convincing and effective staff work (Healey did try to warn of this on numerous occasions). This might not have been that important, but if you look at the way in which Lin Middleton handled the air effort during CORPORATE, regarding everything the RAF did as nothing more than a publicity stunt (usually a 'stunt' which had been thought up or enthusiastically accepted by those noted senior fans of the RAF Admirals Lewin, Leach and Fieldhouse...), this came from that belief that the RAF did nothing but play dirty while the RN played it entirely clean (as though Mountbatten was written out of the thinking about this) and then we got Sharkey and his attempts to completely re-write history (ongoing) and the Phoenix Think Tank and you see why this myth is actually pernicious and dangerous and why any retired officers and tyro academics arguing that this 'proves' the need to get shot of the RAF to punish the crabs need to be told to shut up - as, indeed, Admiral Z did at the time of the last SDSR.

Sorry - that's rather long, but blame MM for encouraging me...
But surely it was during the Cold War so the winning argument was defending the fleet and convoys against Soviet Naval Aviation, lobbing bonbs/tactical nuclear weapons at Red Navy heavy units, ASW with lots of helicopters (had dipping sonar been invented then?), and supporting amphibious operations particularly in NATO's Northern and Southern flanks?
 
The theory was that as part of an alliance with the focus on fighting WW3, the Atlantic and NATO areas would be covered by US carrier air (remember that in 1966, the USN had 27 carriers available, including dedicated ASW carriers). What we provided was 'nice to have', but not essential; the vital contribution was our frigates and destroyers (and, indeed, with Tiger and Blake, cruisers). The amphib force would be supported by a US carrier and land-based air in Norway [assuming the Soviets hadn't taken out all the airfields...]

East of Suez, though, was different, since relying on the US to be in places where we found carriers useful could not be taken as read. So carriers were seen as really necessary here, until they started to be questioned in the 1950s/60s (and not just by the Air Ministry). Once it appeared that there was an acceptable - if not necessarily equal - alternative from land bases, then the justification for the carriers looked less tenable. A case could have been made, but the RN dropped the ball. Had the RN and RAF sat down and sensibly looked at the requirements - which would have required the RN to consider air wings made up of RAF and FAA units, even in the 1960s and the RAF to accept that the RN wasn't trying to destroy it or leave it with obsolete aircraft [the suspicion after Mountbatten's machinations] so as to afford ships which didn't appear essential for fighting the 3rd World War in Europe - then we might have had a different outcome.

One idea - killed almost at birth - was that you would recruit RAF pilots and navigators who would be very clear that they would spend the first few years of their careers in squadrons which would embark aboard carriers on a regular basis, or be assigned to FAA squadrons. They would then, after serving (say) for six years in carrier-going squadrons, be able to transfer to land based units and never set foot on a carrier again if they didn't want to. The RN wouldn't have to worry about career management, since that would be taken care of by the RAF. Those who wanted to continue flying from carriers would either be able to volunteer through their posting process, or transfer to the FAA as aviators (and never get above the rank of Lieutenant Commander, spending most of their time in flying jobs and not having to worry about doing watchkeeping courses, etc, etc)

Another notion was that all the Phantoms bought for the RAF would have the necessary bits and pieces to allow them to be launched from a carrier - thus allowing squadrons to deploy for a cruise every so often (say once every three years), so that aircrew would do one cruise per tour, which was deemed not to be too off-putting for those who'd have joined the RN if they wanted to spend their flying careers at sea. This also fell by the wayside and key items required for carrier operation (the attachment points for the catapult strops, etc) were deleted from the Phantom FGR2.

The Admiralty/RN thought that it had a winning argument, but failed to articulate why carriers - not ships, but specifically carriers - were needed. As soon as it seemed that carriers were very useful but only essential East of Suez, then the bean counters became very interested in the notion that much of what carriers did could be done from land bases and whether carriers were needed at all - particularly since there were voices in the Treasury making clear that the East of Suez commitment was unsustainable and would have to go, whatever Lyndon Johnson thought about its desirability.
 
Last edited:
The legend about Australia is inconsistent. The place is supposed - depending upon who you listen to - to have been shifted 1000, 500 or 200 miles (and I think I've seen 450 mentioned somewhere as well).

The truth is that is was moved 1000 plus miles in one document - but that was by the Chief Scientific Adviser, who issued a report which placed Australia in the Atlantic. I have a photo of the file somewhere and will post it if I ever find the damned thing again.

Aldabra was moved a few hundred miles in one document/presentation, but - critically - there is a raft of other Air Ministry evidence from the period which shows the island in the correct location, often with the distances between the island and various key locations marked on - these can be checked using flight checker type sites (I forget the one I used - it was years ago) and this demonstrates that the distances were correct on these documents.

Furthermore, the files are replete with maps and charts from all departments, all of which seem to show the same thing, along with files from Solly Zuckerman's empire which was attempting an impartial assessment of the two competing arguments (carrier or island strategy), and depending upon the variables used, not quite making its mind up.

Gjert Dyndal appears not to have located any evidence for a deliberate and concerted effort to move any islands at all; I've not found any (my research hasn't been in anything like as much depth, but was done out of curiosity); Sir Michael Quinlan steadfastly denied any; at least one naval historian of my acquaintance doesn't believe the story (he has done some research into it) and a former Wings of HMS Victorious (the carrier, obviously....) didn't believe it either when we corresponded/spoke about the issue of RN carriers over a decade ago.

The naval story does appear to be just that - the simple fact, as has been around for years, is that the RN made an abysmal case for retaining a large carrier capability, and the island strategy - which the RAF knew to be imperfect but arguably 'good enough for government work' - offered a rather attractive means of not having a large carrier force.

On top of that, the RN failed to persuade the Foreign Office that carriers were vital to diplomacy (as Saki Dockerill covered in her book on 1960s foreign policy and East of Suez), I paraphrase, but the FO's advice on the matter was to the effect that 'the aircraft carrier is little more than a post-imperial penis extension'. While that was taking it far too far, in the context of 1966, with no money about and the design being changed on a regular basis, the conclusion that all a carrier was going to be absolutely essential for was pretty much the wildly implausible task of evicting the Argentines from the Falklands (and what lunatic could believe that would ever happen??), and disaster for the RN ensued.

There was the further complication that Mountbatten was seen as a parochial CDS who was really attempting to still be 1SL - so that the government came not to trust his advice; he had, of course, gone by 1966 (but was still attempting influence behind the scenes) and Admiral Luce never quite managed to overcome some of the bitterness which Mountbatten had left behind; the Templer Report in 1965 - concluding that the air arrangements were 'about right' and likely to remain about right for many years to come, to the grave disappointment of a number of people - noted that one of the biggest issues wasn't the existence of the RAF but the enmity and mistrust which had grown up between the RN and the RAF. I think it was Colin Gray who argued that the RAF may have fought hard, but it did so because the inflexible approach of the other services meant that the air force felt under threat. Trenchard's complaint that things would have been so much better had the RN and Army not attempted to destroy the RAF in the early 1920s (actually Sir Henry Wilson rather than the Army as a whole, I think) resonated strongly...

Finally, the notion that the RAF cheated to save the TSR2 and then the F-111 was also rather disproved by Saki Dockerill - the evidence suggests that it was pretty much always the case that the question was not 'TSR2/F-111 or the Carriers?' but 'TSR2/F-111 and the carriers or just TSR2/F-111?'

The legend of the mobile airfield that was Australia isn't really credible - and I regret to say that the evidence to date is that blaming 'dastardly crabs' for the loss of CVA01 was a mechanism to avoid accepting the RN's failings in terms of presenting convincing and effective staff work (Healey did try to warn of this on numerous occasions). This might not have been that important, but if you look at the way in which Lin Middleton handled the air effort during CORPORATE, regarding everything the RAF did as nothing more than a publicity stunt (usually a 'stunt' which had been thought up or enthusiastically accepted by those noted senior fans of the RAF Admirals Lewin, Leach and Fieldhouse...), this came from that belief that the RAF did nothing but play dirty while the RN played it entirely clean (as though Mountbatten was written out of the thinking about this) and then we got Sharkey and his attempts to completely re-write history (ongoing) and the Phoenix Think Tank and you see why this myth is actually pernicious and dangerous and why any retired officers and tyro academics arguing that this 'proves' the need to get shot of the RAF to punish the crabs need to be told to shut up - as, indeed, Admiral Z did at the time of the last SDSR.

Sorry - that's rather long, but blame MM for encouraging me...
Can we pin this quote somewhere? Maybe on Sharkey's eyeballs?
 
Do you seriously think the RN has the ability to bring a fast jet into service on its own?
They’ve done it before.

However, as a wide man once told me, defence budgets rarely get done in need. They get done on keeping all of those involved feeling that they haven’t lost out to the others.

There is some truth in what you say, but when the end users are earmarked for flying off a big boat, one would question the need for a land based branch to be involved.

It may even be that the F35 is to be used to fill the gap of the Harriers. Especially when the harriers were scrapped to help pay for them.
 
...Had the RN and RAF sat down and sensibly looked at the requirements - which would have required the RN to consider air wings made up of RAF and FAA units, even in the 1960s and the RAF to accept that the RN wasn't trying to destroy it or leave it with obsolete aircraft [the suspicion after Mountbatten's machinations] so as to afford ships which didn't appear essential for fighting the 3rd World War in Europe - then we might have had a different outcome...
Many forget that attempts by the War Office and Admiralty to kill off the RAF during the inter-war years were still within living memory for many in the upper echelons of the RAF. Moreover, the RN had persistently argued for Coastal Command assets to be transferred to their control from 1945 to the early 60s. Therefore, a degree of crustacean paranoia was perhaps understandable.

...One idea - killed almost at birth - was that you would recruit RAF pilots and navigators who would be very clear that they would spend the first few years of their careers in squadrons which would embark aboard carriers on a regular basis, or be assigned to FAA squadrons. They would then, after serving (say) for six years in carrier-going squadrons, be able to transfer to land based units and never set foot on a carrier again if they didn't want to. The RN wouldn't have to worry about career management, since that would be taken care of by the RAF. Those who wanted to continue flying from carriers would either be able to volunteer through their posting process, or transfer to the FAA as aviators (and never get above the rank of Lieutenant Commander, spending most of their time in flying jobs and not having to worry about doing watchkeeping courses, etc, etc)...
Which to an extent is what happened during the 1970s as RN Gannet, F-4 and Bucc sqns entered their twilight years. An increasing proportion of RN sqn personnel were from the RAF during this period including first tourists. Inevitably some of those RN aircrew who remained - particularly observers - transferred to the RAF although equally some RAF pilots went the other way.

...The Admiralty/RN thought that it had a winning argument, but failed to articulate why carriers - not ships, but specifically carriers - were needed. As soon as it seemed that carriers were very useful but only essential East of Suez, then the bean counters became very interested in the notion that much of what carriers did could be done from land bases and whether carriers were needed at all - particularly since there were voices in the Treasury making clear that the East of Suez commitment was unsustainable and would have to go, whatever Lyndon Johnson thought about its desirability.
In addition, this period saw a significant increase in spending on the establishment of Polaris.

They’ve done it before...
Incorrect. The post war RN has always relied completely on RAF selection and flying training to feed it's fast jet pilot cadre.

...when the end users are earmarked for flying off a big boat, one would question the need for a land based branch to be involved...
The 'end users' are not merely 'earmarked for flying off a big boat.' Our F-35s will also operate from Land on ops. The primary reason the RAF are involved is that the RN have not been able to sustain a FJ aircrew cadre for almost half a century and STOVL allows a surge capability. More importantly however, neither the RN and RAF wanted a repeat of the 60s where both fought for expensive, overlapping capabilities with the result that both got neither.

...It may even be that the F35 is to be used to fill the gap of the Harriers. Especially when the harriers were scrapped to help pay for them.
The scrapping of the Harriers in 2010 was no more a symptom of buying carriers and F-35 than the simultaneous - and far more damaging - loss of our MPA capability was.

Regards,
MM
 
Last edited:
The Coastal Command grab came about because of the parlous state in 1939 and the massive fight the RN had to get decent aircraft in sufficient quantities assigned to preventing us losing the war. Lesson learned from 1917/8 and reinforced 40 to 42. Perhaps less of "kill the RAF" and more "gives us back vital assets?"

And all this explains why blokes march through their neighbours streets to remember a battle 300 years ago.
 
One can only imagine the manpower the RAF are going to lose once our sideways walking friends deploy for 6-9 months on a pussers grey, whilst their kinfolk in the Typhoon force live it up being at home and in hotels/excellent accomodation when on det.

If they wanted to go to sea surely they would have joined up as a wafu?
 
The theory was that as part of an alliance with the focus on fighting WW3, the Atlantic and NATO areas would be covered by US carrier air (remember that in 1966, the USN had 27 carriers available, including dedicated ASW carriers). What we provided was 'nice to have', but not essential; the vital contribution was our frigates and destroyers (and, indeed, with Tiger and Blake, cruisers). The amphib force would be supported by a US carrier and land-based air in Norway [assuming the Soviets hadn't taken out all the airfields...]

East of Suez, though, was different, since relying on the US to be in places where we found carriers useful could not be taken as read. So carriers were seen as really necessary here, until they started to be questioned in the 1950s/60s (and not just by the Air Ministry). Once it appeared that there was an acceptable - if not necessarily equal - alternative from land bases, then the justification for the carriers looked less tenable. A case could have been made, but the RN dropped the ball. Had the RN and RAF sat down and sensibly looked at the requirements - which would have required the RN to consider air wings made up of RAF and FAA units, even in the 1960s and the RAF to accept that the RN wasn't trying to destroy it or leave it with obsolete aircraft [the suspicion after Mountbatten's machinations] so as to afford ships which didn't appear essential for fighting the 3rd World War in Europe - then we might have had a different outcome.

One idea - killed almost at birth - was that you would recruit RAF pilots and navigators who would be very clear that they would spend the first few years of their careers in squadrons which would embark aboard carriers on a regular basis, or be assigned to FAA squadrons. They would then, after serving (say) for six years in carrier-going squadrons, be able to transfer to land based units and never set foot on a carrier again if they didn't want to. The RN wouldn't have to worry about career management, since that would be taken care of by the RAF. Those who wanted to continue flying from carriers would either be able to volunteer through their posting process, or transfer to the FAA as aviators (and never get above the rank of Lieutenant Commander, spending most of their time in flying jobs and not having to worry about doing watchkeeping courses, etc, etc)

Another notion was that all the Phantoms bought for the RAF would have the necessary bits and pieces to allow them to be launched from a carrier - thus allowing squadrons to deploy for a cruise every so often (say once every three years), so that aircrew would do one cruise per tour, which was deemed not to be too off-putting for those who'd have joined the RN if they wanted to spend their flying careers at sea. This also fell by the wayside and key items required for carrier operation (the attachment points for the catapult strops, etc) were deleted from the Phantom FGR2.

The Admiralty/RN thought that it had a winning argument, but failed to articulate why carriers - not ships, but specifically carriers - were needed. As soon as it seemed that carriers were very useful but only essential East of Suez, then the bean counters became very interested in the notion that much of what carriers did could be done from land bases and whether carriers were needed at all - particularly since there were voices in the Treasury making clear that the East of Suez commitment was unsustainable and would have to go, whatever Lyndon Johnson thought about its desirability.
Interesting. But someone then worked out we needed a platform for multiple ASW helicopters in the NATO Atlantic/GIUK gap and this led to the 'through deck cruisers', which then became CVS.... Sea Harrier was for a NATO role.

They’ve done it before.

However, as a wide man once told me, defence budgets rarely get done in need. They get done on keeping all of those involved feeling that they haven’t lost out to the others.

There is some truth in what you say, but when the end users are earmarked for flying off a big boat, one would question the need for a land based branch to be involved.

It may even be that the F35 is to be used to fill the gap of the Harriers. Especially when the harriers were scrapped to help pay for them.
Your post satisfies neither shade of blue: 'A big boat' - WTF?

I was tempted to agree with you for a second and mention Sea Harrier, but then remembered even Sharkey Ward did mention the RAF Harrier OCU and others in the acknowledgements to his both.

If the F-35B was solely for carrier operations the buy would be reduced.

These machine guns may be useful at the battalion level, but they're never going to catch on

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers"
Are you are my former CO - "most naval communications do not involve equipment"?
 
One can only imagine the manpower the RAF are going to lose once our sideways walking friends deploy for 6-9 months on a pussers grey, whilst their kinfolk in the Typhoon force live it up being at home and in hotels/excellent accomodation when on det.

If they wanted to go to sea surely they would have joined up as a wafu?
What nonsense. I've got mates on the Chinook and Typhoon fleets (ex-GR9 drivers) who have a lot more sea time under their belts than several branches of the RN. Likewise there are RAF Fighter Controllers, ops officers, exchange officers and other types who have spent long times at sea on exercises and ops various.

The 'only the RN can fly / operate / hack it at sea' myth is a smokescreen, touted by the Dark Blue to preserve the mystique of seaborne ops, thereby firming their case.

Look around the globe; the Canadian ASW helo community has been provided by their Air Force for years. Same in Denmark and Norway. 6 Sqn RNZAF are under Full Command of the NZ CAS, and supply maintainers (and some pilots / navs) to the RNZN; they have done for decades. The USN and USMC Prowler fleets absorbed USAF F-111 pilots / navigators when the EF-111 fleet folded.

In the UK, the CH47 fleet, Army AH / Lx, Harrier GR9 have all successfully embarked on operations without the sky falling in; historically, the FAA FW cadre (when they flew F4 and Buccaneer) were strongly bolstered by the RAF - to the tune of c50-60% on some units.

I think the core of the issue here is that ship-borne aviation operations have been touted around for years as this 'black art that only navies can do', and is slowly being exposed as being based on myth, rumour, assertion and falsehood. I get that it is high tempo, big-boys' rules, but it's not something that you can't train for. The RN tout the line that 'you have to be dark blue to integrate with the Ship's Company', but only when it suits them; this is kind of turned on it's head by warfare / engineer / logs branch matelots themselves, who will tell you (quite vociferously) that they view Air Group or Flight personnel as passengers, not real sailors, only along for the ride, never really integrate, not a true part of the Ship etc etc etc.
 
Last edited:
The Coastal Command grab came about because of the parlous state in 1939 and the massive fight the RN had to get decent aircraft in sufficient quantities assigned to preventing us losing the war. Lesson learned from 1917/8 and reinforced 40 to 42. Perhaps less of "kill the RAF" and more "gives us back vital assets?"...
I disagree.

Coastal Command was certainly the most poorly resourced out of the 3 main Commands in 1939 although the RAF had developed what was arguably the World's finest flying boat in the form of the Sunderland (the less said about Avro Anson maritime capabilities however, the better!). The initial prioritisation of Bomber over Coastal Command for aircraft and aircrew was correct in my view as any number of Halifax and Lancasters was never going to close the Atlantic Gap; that only occurred when long-ranged Fortresses and Liberators arrived in decent numbers from 1941.

The rapid post war contraction of Coastal Command was largely a result of those same lend-lease types being worn out, the UK being utterly broke, and Commonwealth personnel rapidly disappearing back home. That resulted in the cancellation of a replacement for the Sunderland (the interim Short Sealand and definitive Shetland) and surplus Lancasters being pressed into service in the Maritime role.

From the early 1950s however, Coastal Command was increasingly well equipped with P2V Neptunes and Shackletons and was proving a highly effective force against the burgeoning Soviet naval threat. Indeed, wartime connections with the RN such as the ASW development Unit (ASWDU) and the Joint Anti-Submarine School (JASS) had been maintained.

Yet the RN persistently argued both for Coastal Command assets to be transferred to them and that Shackleton procurement should be curtailed in favour of carrier based Gannets and the quite appalling Short Seamew planned for operation by RNR sqns from smaller decks. It was also suggested the latter could be procured by the RAF as a Short Range Maritime Reconnaissance (SMR) for operation from land bases.

So I don't think under-resourcing is a valid argument for why the RN tried to assume control of Coastal Command throughout the 1950s and 60s.

One can only imagine the manpower the RAF are going to lose once our sideways walking friends deploy for 6-9 months on a pussers grey, whilst their kinfolk in...If they wanted to go to sea surely they would have joined up as a wafu?...
Give me a cabin and access to beer on det rather than a dusty tent or corrimec anytime.

...the Typhoon force live it up being at home and in hotels/excellent accomodation when on det...
You've clearly never stayed in the blocks at Akrotiri.

Ultimately, I think in a perfect world it would make perfect sense for the RN to have 100+ FW aviators and their own dedicated F-35Bs permanently assigned to the carriers. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world.

Regards,
MM
 

Similar threads

Top